(Full disclosure: This post is merely a way to occupy my time while the Highland Park Town Council is in executive session.)
One of the items on the agenda during the open session was the approval of a “memorandum of understanding” with Dallas County to share proportionate costs for the transport of prisoners to the county jail. Sheriff Lupe Valdez informed 22 suburban police departments that she wanted to suspend this service effective Oct. 1 due to county budget cuts. With the Town Council’s approval, Highland Park’s Department of Public Safety became one of 18 agencies that has agreed to fund the transport service so it can continue.
Highland Park’s share will be $1,891, which is less than one-half of 1 percent of the annual cost of $435,067. (The biggest contributor will be the Irving Police Department: $94,681.) According to documents distributed in this meeting, four agencies have declined to contribute: Carrollton, Hutchins, Wilmer, and University Park.
DPS Chief Chris Vinson theorized that University Park is not participating because its cops probably make fewer arrests than his officers, despite University Park being the bigger of the Park Cities. That prompted town administrator Bill Lindley to remind the council that Highland Park makes a point of arresting people on outstanding warrants from other agencies. Why? So that word spreads through the criminal community that even driving through Highland Park is a bad idea.